The NCAA men’s basketball playoffs – otherwise known as March Madness – will end in San Antonio this year, with the four-day Final Four event. The city anticipates around 93,000 visitors will attend the events and games between March 30 and April 2.
All of the events that weekend will be downtown, so traffic congestion is likely to be heavy. If you’re planning to attend Final Four events, keep the following safety tips in mind.
Use alternative transportation
If you plan on drinking alcohol, or if you’d rather not deal with the hassle of finding a parking spot, there are plenty of alternatives to driving. For $5, adults can buy a round-trip bus ticket from Madla Station, Blossom Athletic Center, or Crossroads Park & Ride (discounted tickets are available for students with a valid ID, children, and seniors). There’s also the VIA Centro bus ($2.75 for a day pass), a shuttle, and bike-share stations.
Talk to children about emergency plans
If you’re heading downtown with small children, make sure they know what to do if they can’t find you. In large crowds, it only takes a moment to lose track of a child. Parents magazine advises parents to teach their children to call out their given names – not “mommy” or “daddy” – if they’re lost in a crowd. The next step would be asking for help from a mother with children, or a police officer.
Be aware of pedestrians, and be an aware pedestrian
Many streets will be blocked off to vehicle traffic, so pedestrians can move about more freely. Still, it’s wise to be alert when crossing any street. Bicycles, police vehicles, and golf carts may be traveling through pedestrian areas. If you’re driving downtown, keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially at night.
Avoid overindulging in alcohol
With daily tailgating parties and Fan Fest events kicking off before noon, many people will be consuming alcohol throughout the day. Even if you’re not driving, drinking too much alcohol is dangerous. Being intoxicated in a crowd may make people easy targets for pickpockets, and intoxication raises the risk of tripping and falling.
Keep an eye out for intoxicated people
If you see people who are obviously intoxicated, keep your distance, because some people become aggressive after drinking too much.
Use caution inside the Alamodome
If you and your family are attending games at the Alamodome, be careful; the steps in the seating areas are steep, and the stairways are narrow. Make sure children know not to run on the stairs (or anywhere else in the venue).
Drink plenty of water/protect your skin
Some of the events, including eight-hour March Madness Music Festival, are outdoors, and temperatures may be in the 80s that weekend. To avoid dehydration, make sure you’re drinking enough water. When out in the sun, reapply sunscreen every hour. Wearing a hat or carrying an umbrella will increase your protection against sunburn.
Final Four weekend offers plenty of fun activities for the entire family. Being alert and aware of your surroundings can help you stay safe.
If you should suffer an injury during Final Four weekend, the attorneys at the Austin, TX-based Evans Law Firm may be able to help. As personal injury attorneys with years of experience, we help people put their lives back on track. We offer small law firm attention with big law firm results. Call us at (855) 414-1012 or fill out our online contact form to find out how we can help you.